Distracted driving among Labour Day weekend statistics

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – RCMP and Alberta Sheriffs were out in full force over the Labour Day weekend in an effort to catch speeders and other traffic violators in the act. In total, 3,743 charges were laid across the province, a number that is down slightly from the 3,951 charges issued over the same weekend in 2010.

While speeding violations, impaired driving and hazardous driving charges were in the mix over the weekend, police issued tickets to 29 drivers under Alberta’s new distracted driving law.

A press release issued Tuesday indicated a Whitecourt driver had been charged after crossing the median while talking on a cell phone and a Fort McMurray driver who was trying to back out of a parking stall with a cell phone in one hand and an ice cream cup in the other.

But ice cream carting drivers were not the only dangers on the road over the Sept. 2 to 5 long weekend. Speeders continued to plague Alberta highways. In total police issued 2,834 speeding tickets, a number that is down significantly from the 3,317 speeding issued in 2010 and the 1,992 issued in 2009.

The highest speed clocked by police occurred near Ponoka where a driver was recorded travelling 212 kilometres per hour.
Impaired drivers were also fewer in number. A total of 46 impaired charges were issued over the weekend, compared with 234 impaired driving charges in 2010. Police also issued 55 other alcohol-related violations and 32 24-hour suspensions.
Additionally, police issued 55 tickets for hazardous driving, 73 tickets for failing to stop at a stop sign, 160 seatbelt and child restraint tickets, and 459 violations for having no insurance or driving under suspension.

RCMP officers, sheriffs and their road safety partners will spend the remainder of September targeting their back to school safety campaign at parents and children returning to school, educating the public that drivers, students, pedestrians, cyclists, and school bus passengers all have a role in back-to-school safety and need to be aware of traffic safety rules.

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